By Dave Acosta
“The Utah State Office of Education realizes that schools and churches are targets for active shooters,” said Rich Morley, Director of American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork. “There are things we can do to keep our school safe and to empower us as faculty.”
Enter Dave Acosta, a seasoned tactical trainer of law enforcement, S.W.A.T. and many other organizations around the world.
Mr. Acosta arrived at the scene of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting about 2 hours after it happened. As he helped the victims’ families at the community center about 200 yards from the besieged church, the people were spreading rumors. One person said, “I heard it was one of our neighbors who stopped the man.” Another said, “I heard he actually shot him and chased after him in a car with another man.”
“Those rumors were true,” said Dave Acosta. “It was a 55-year-old man with no military or law enforcement training who heard shots fired, grabbed his rifle and ran out of his house barefoot and confronted the shooter.”
This is the fight back attitude that Dave Acosta and his son Alex want to instill in all teachers.
“Run, hide, fight is the common policy adopted by schools and churches across the world, and that’s great,” said Mr. Acosta. “But if it comes to it, do you know how to fight?”
What followed next was 2 hours of skills training that every teacher, regardless of age, weight or gender could apply to prevent a mass shooting.
“We of course hope it never comes to that,” said Vice Principal Paul Ashby. “Our classroom doors are closed and locked during school.”
Statistics show that assailants rarely bother trying to breech a locked door.
At the conclusion, Mr. Acosta said, “We trust you teachers with the thing we love the most. Our children. And you have accepted that responsibility. Now, is a shooting going to happen here? Probably not. But if it did, I feel sorry for the person that comes in to try.”